For fifteen years, Penny has directed economic development programs at the Piedmont Triad Partnership, a regional economic development agency working to leverage the Triad’s assets for economic growth. As Executive Vice President she manages the economic development, marketing/communications and foreign trade zone programs. Penny works with a broad range of public and private economic development allies and stakeholders to advance projects with region-wide impact.

Since 2014 she has served as managing director of a non-profit working to connect and strengthen the aerospace and aviation industry for the economic benefit of North Carolina. With a strong volunteer Board, NC Aerospace is working to improve the pipeline of skilled employees available for this sector, to advance the competitiveness of aerospace companies and the supply chain, and to communicate the opportunities and value of this sector.

Prior to 2000, Penny worked in local economic development in the Triad in research, marketing and business development.

With more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management and economic development, she is a frequent speaker on topics including international trade and workforce and economic development practices. She is past president of C2ER, the national association of professionals in community and economic development research and a member of the Board of the NC Center for the Creative Economy.

Penny grew up in Winston-Salem, NC and has a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies and a Masters of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. She lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband and three children.